Better Living Through Technology

My friend John Huschka has jumped into blogging with both feet, and it's a wonderful thing to see.  He even got a shout-out from Bob Beauchemin during his first week..  pretty darn cool!

What's almost as cool for me is that in John's latest post lies the disclosure that he and I share at least one common toy: a Cingular 8125 PDA/cellphone running Windows Mobile.  I also got a Motorola HS-850 BlueTooth headset, and I've been very impressed with the combination.  I've had the PDA hooked up to the Internet via both the GPRS and Wi-Fi connections, and the hands-free voice dialing with the headset is very cool -- if I've programmed a "voice tag" for my contact, I can dial the phone without having to touch it, which is very cool when I'm walking!

I haven't been inspired, as John has, to download blogs onto the PDA yet, although that day is certainly coming.  My new job will require a certain level of out-of-town travel (not today, thank goodness); when this foresight intersected with the fact that four out of the five cell phones on our "family plan" have ceased to function, a mass upgrade was in order.  Thank goodness Cingular was running a sale!

The family went for the Samsung D807, but I wanted a device that would allow me to read work email.  Office Mobile was the ticket, and the 8125 is the only such device in Cingular's arsenal which offers a screen large enough for my aging eyes to read, so there we are.

Other than a brief fiasco at the outset, all has been well.  When we bought the phone, the salesman told me that I should download a BIOS upgrade from the manufacturer's website.  Well, I neglected to note that the phone already had the new BIOS on it.  Running the no-op "upgrade" fried the phone, so I needed to get another one.  If you've got one of these phones and you don't have the 05/11/06 BIOS on it, though, you do want the upgrade.

Since I'm carrying my email around on this device, I obviously don't share John's concerns about having "personally identifiable software" and content on my phone.  Interestingly enough, when I synced it up to the Microsoft mail server for the first time, I was forced to enter a "screensaver" PIN for the device, a security option which I hadn't previously configured.  This will eliminate casual access to the contents of my PDA, including my email, and is plainly something I should've done long beforehand.

John's post has me thinking, though..  do I really want my inbox and calendar on such a small, portable device?  Is my four-digit PIN sufficient to keep my device and its contents secure?

Certainly, there are road warriors in this corner of the blogosphere who can weigh in on this issue.  Are you reading work email on your phone or PDA?  How are you addressing issues of physical and logical security?


Comments (1)

  1. John Huschka says:

    Wow…we do share a lot.  I’m using a Gluetooth headset with voice prompts, and I love it.  The 8125 is a nice device, although it can occasionally be cranky…especially with ActiveSync.  But, overall, a good device that I would buy again.

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